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good 15" live speakers


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I've never posted about live sound - hope I'm in the right place. I do a gig w/ my girlfriend: 2 voices, 1 guitar and some sequenced tracks. We're starting to do some gigs that our 12" Yamaha speakers can't seem to handle (weddings and big noisy bars). We want to get 15"s but are not sure what to get. We're considering the JBL MP415 and the Mackie S500(both in the $500 range). Any suggestions would be super appreciated. Thanks in advance. P.S. Should we get powered speakers? If we do, does that mean we have to plug them into the wall, or does the power go through the speaker cable?
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Go with the powered speakers. The Mackies, or the JBL's will work fine. Depending on your instrumentation, you may want to add a subwoofer right away or down the road to fill out the bottom end and give you a little more volume overall. Yes, the powered speakers will need power -from the wall. The great thing is that the amps are matched and built in to the speakers, and you don't have to carry the extra gear -BIG plus. Check em out. I think you'll be very pleased. :)

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One thing to consider with powered speakers - fuse protection & accessability of same. I sold a couple of JBL EON systems to a couple of clients of mine. They work great, BUT one time one of them would not power up. Seems a power spike nuked the internal fuse. Not a big deal, except 1) it was a miniature inline fuse - a bit non-standard (keep spares around) and 2) the only access to the fuse was by opening up the speaker - separating the front half from the back half, involving about 14 bolts! NOT something you want to have to deal with under time pressure. Aside from that, they're good speakers - Haven't had to open them since, (+2 yrs) and they put out pretty good for their size & rating.
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